EU telcos call on Big Tech to share network costs

Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica, and 13 other European telecom operators strongly called on large technology companies to share network costs, citing the energy crisis and EU climate change goals.

The EU is also preparing to seek feedback from both sides on a legislative proposal that could force tech companies to help pay for 5G and fiber-optic cables across the bloc's 27 member states.

It is reported that the industry invests about 50 billion euros (about 345.5 billion yuan) in infrastructure every year. The capital needs are very urgent, and the cost of planning and construction projects is increasing. For example, the price of optical cables has almost doubled in the first half of 2022.

The industry says Europe is missing out on many of the opportunities the consumer internet offers, and it must now quickly build strength for the Metaverse. Telecom operators in Europe argue that U.S. tech companies such as Google, Meta, and Netflix, which account for more than half of internet traffic, should bear some of the cost of upgrading their infrastructure.

Big tech companies have rejected such demands, saying they are already investing in equipment and technology to make content more efficient.

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